Should you visit Galapagos Islands or Puerto Madryn?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Galapagos Islands or Puerto Madryn, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.
The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago of islands belonging to Ecuador in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Galapagos archipelago is world-renowned for its unique and fearless wildlife, much of which was inspiration for Charles Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection. Thanks to a lack of natural predators, friendly wildlife such as sea lions and gigantic sea tortoises let visitors get up close. This archipelago of about 19 islands and many smaller islets found over 620 miles off Ecuador's coast in the Pacific Ocean is a double World Heritage site, where both land and sea are protected. Each island boasts its own unique landscape, ranging from black, volcanic rocks to white sand beaches and gemstone-blue waters. There is no bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands but the busiest months for tourism tend to be June, July and August, as well as mid-December to mid-January. This is when prices are at their highest.
Puerto Madryn is mostly known as the gateway to Peninsula Valdes, welcoming tourists who come for whale watching. The Peninsula Valdes is a nature reserve designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site; 97 km long and 63 km wide, it is connected to the continent by an isthmus of 35 km from which we can see both gulfs, San Jose at north and the Nuevo at south.
Which city is cheaper, Puerto Madryn or Galapagos Islands?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Galapagos Islands is $111, while the average daily cost in Puerto Madryn is $102. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Galapagos Islands and Puerto Madryn in more detail.
The prices for places to stay in Galapagos Islands can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $52, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $104.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $38. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Puerto Madryn the cost is $76 on average.
The average traveler spends about $27 per day in Galapagos Islands for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Food in Puerto Madryn costs travelers about $42 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
Meals for one day
Galapagos Islands $27
Puerto Madryn $42
To get around in Galapagos Islands, the average visitor spends $43 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $24 per day to get around in Puerto Madryn.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Galapagos Islands
Also for Galapagos Islands, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Transfer In from Baltra Airport to Hotels in Santa Cruz Island:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Madryn
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Madryn:
Puerto Madryn Airport Private Transfer:
Puerto Madryn Trelew Airport Shuttle Transfer:
In Galapagos Islands, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $28 per person, per day.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $42 per person, per day in Puerto Madryn. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Tours and Activities in Galapagos Islands
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Galapagos Islands.
4-Day Galapagos Islands Express Tour:
4-Day Galapagos Land Tour Visiting Isabela and Santa Cruz:
4-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience:
4-Day Budget Isabela Tour:
Galapagos Discovery Tour 4 Days / 3 Nights:
5-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience:
4-Day Galapagos Tour: Santa Cruz & 2 Uninhabited Islands:
5-Day Galapagos Diving Tour: Accommodation and Full-Day Diving Excursions:
5-Day Guided Galapagos & Los Tuneles Tour:
6-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience:
6-Day Galapagos Land Tour: Los Tuneles Program:
7-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience:
Typical Entertainment prices in Puerto Madryn
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Puerto Madryn are as follows:
Whale Watching for Two
Tours and Activities in Puerto Madryn
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Puerto Madryn are as follows:
3-Day Atlantic Patagonia Wild Nature Experience at Bahia Bustamante Lodge:
Chubut Welsh Colonies Tour:
City Tour and Sea Lions at Punta Loma from Puerto Madryn:
Cruise Shore excursion to Punta Tombo:
Cruise shore excursion to Peninsula Valdes:
Discover Valdes Peninsula Day Tour:
Excursion Sib Tour to the valley of the Chubut river:
Florentino Ameghino Dam Day Tour:
Full Day Tour to Florentino Ameghino Dam from Puerto Madryn:
Full Day Tour to Punta Ninfas from Puerto Madryn:
Patagonia Ranch and El Pedral Penguin Colony Tour from Puerto Madryn:
Peninsula Valdes & Estancia San Lorenzo Full Day Tour:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Galapagos Islands, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $12.
The average person spends about $23 on alcoholic beverages in Puerto Madryn per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
When comparing the travel costs between Galapagos Islands and Puerto Madryn, we can see that Galapagos Islands is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
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